Planning company goals: objectives and key results (OKRs)

Many organizations spend time and resources to set objectives that then guide their work only to have them go stale. With Goals in Asana, you have a single source of truth about what your goals are and they're tied to the work to achieve them. Follow along to learn how.

If your org doesn't yet set objectives and key results, start with our goal planning ebook to help you learn the framework and try it out.

What are objectives and key results (OKRs)?

From org to org, these concepts might differ, so here's how you can think of them in Asana. OKRs are a two-part approach to setting and measuring goals comprised of objectives and key results (KRs). An objective answers the question, "where are we going?" and KRs make it clear if you got there or not. Together they form the basis for the Goals feature.

For example, if your objective is "earn customer loyalty" your key results to measure if you hit it could be:

  1. Hit annual recurring revenue target
  2. Achieve an NPS score of 40
  3. Publish 20 case studies in key segments

In Asana, that would mean "earn customer loyalty" is your main goal, with the key results being sub-goals of it.

How does the Goals feature fit in with work in Asana?

Organizations work best when everyone has clarity on the mission, goals, and the day-to-day work needed to achieve them. With Asana, you have clarity down to a subtask assigned to a new intern up to an objective the CEO takes responsibility for.

Asana's pyramid of clarity, showing the organization's mission at the top, followed by objectives, which are tracked across work in portfolios comprised of projects, which have assigned tasks

Most teams start with tasks and projects to manage their work. When you have enough projects, adding them to a portfolio gives you a real-time view of what's happening across top initiatives. With the addition of Goals, orgs now have a single system to set their objectives and manage all the work needed to hit them—something that's nearly impossible without Asana.

How do you set and track goals in Asana?

SCREENSHOT of the Goals feature in Asana showing three organization-wide goals, with the goal creation button highlighted to show users where to click to create a goal

Creating a goal is kind of like creating a task. Start by answering these questions:

  • Am I setting an org-wide goal, or just for my team? → Use the dropdown menu to select your org or just a team. Your goal will be visible to everyone in the org or on that team.
  • Who is ultimately responsible for the goal being achieved? Is there a deadline? → Just like a task, you'll assign the goal to a teammate and give it a due date if it has one
  • How will you know the goal is complete? → Click into the goal and Add progress metric to show the % complete, dollar amount reached, or an objective yes/no if it's complete.
  • How will you measure if you hit your goal? → Click into the goal and add sub-goals that represent your key results. Sub-goals can also have assignees and deadlines.
  • What relevant projects or portfolios are connected to this goal? → Connect the goal to related work by adding projects and portfolios in the bottom right.

Struggling to answer these questions? Don't worry. Our goals methodology framework can help you figure it out.

More tips for using Goals

  • Anyone who owns a goal should update the progress metric regularly. Set up a recurring task so you don't forget.
  • To get status updates on the work that ladders up to the goal, rely on project status updates. By creating a portfolio of all the projects that contribute to your goal, you can see real-time updates across each project in one place.
  • Goals should be org-wide or by team. For personal individual goals, rely on Milestones and track them in a goals project to share with managers and relevant teammates.

Go more in-depth with our feature focus page in the Help section.

Additional goal-planning resources

Resources for creating a company goals and objectives project Link
Asana-created template Use template
An online course Register for Asana Academy
Case study See how Car Next Door drives better alignment with OKR tracking in Asana
Ebook Get Asana's framework for setting and measuring objectives, key results, and our approach to goals in general.

What if I don't have the Goals feature?

Goals are available to customers on a Business plan. Not your team? You can still track goals in an Asana project by assigning each goal as a task and telling the owner to provide regular updates as comments that can even be rounded up into a periodic status update. Get started with our company goals and objectives project template that has more tips for you.

Setting and tracking goals with Asana can help boost team and individual performance, while ensuring your organization is focused on priorities to drive the results you want.

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